Pantone’s color of the year 2011: Honeysuckle pink!

Woo-hoo! Let’s hear it for pink! Honeysuckle: that kind of orange-ish, kind of reddish, bright, happy, optimistic PINK!

Pantone Honeysuckle pink

Today Pantone announces that Honeysuckle, aka 18-2120 TCX, is its color of the year for 2011. They proclaim:

Pantone turquoiseWhile the 2010 color of the year, PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise, served as an escape for many, Honeysuckle emboldens us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor.

I read the news in the Wall Street Journal’s excellent Personal Journal section, where the pinks in the collage looked stronger than Pantone’s swatch.

Jonathan Adler pink and yellow pillow

Jonathan Adler, picture from the Wall St. Journal

No matter. I don’t even care what the totally exact shade of pink Pantone has crowned queen. I care more that it’s pink AT ALL, and not a wussy pastel pink. And not a too-dark, obnoxious hot pink. And not a too blue cool pink…

…well look at that. Seems like I do care after all.

Pink lounge

Kristen Brant, through Elle Decor

I was never that high on turquoise, although some of you pointed out that my new office color, Benjamin Moore’s 2052-70 Ice Blue, is, in fact, a super light shade of turquoise.

Orange lamp with green drapes

(How great would it look to switch out that lamp for a Honeysuckle pink one?)

Pink lamp

Robert Abbey's double gourd lamp

But I drew the line when a few of you argued that my newly reupholstered sofa could be called a dark turquoise. I mean, even with broad artistic interpretation, the sofa doesn’t come close to Pantone’s swatch.

Pink fabric swatches on blue sofa

But see? There was a moment when I toyed with upholstering our smaller sofa pink and white and “those darn chairs” white with pink and white pillows.

But I hesitated. And the moment passed.

Chicken. I could have been so cutting-edge!

Pink living room

Elle Decor

As we apply Pantone’s Honeysuckle to the decorating arena, the challenge will be to get the not so forward-thinking men in our lives (not all men, just those who are more, shall we say, conservative in their tastes) to buy in.

I think we can do it.

Pink LR and library

Lisa Fine through Elle Decor

Annie Elliott – aka bossy color – is an interior decorator and design blogger in Washington, D.C. She has been quoted in publications from The Washington Post to Real Simple and is considered an expert on color, residential space planning, and telling people what to do in the nicest way possible.


  1. says

    As the owner of a wussy, pale pale pink bathroom and a lover of turquoise, I am neutral about this new color. I like it, but I don’t see any walls in my house going this way. There are small touches of pink in a few rooms in my house. And I anticipate that remaining the extent of it. I am happy for all owners of 50’s pink tile bathrooms, though. :)

  2. says

    Oh, Nichole – i don’t think your pink is wussy. This is the challenge this color is going to face: not eveyone is a PINK person! We’ll see what happens. Thanks for weighing in!

  3. says

    I saw the Journal this morning and wondered if you’d comment – you did not disappoint!

    And yes, I like this color a lot. I’d love it more if it had a bit more purple to it, but at any rate it’s a huge improvement over last year.

  4. says

    Mom, I ALMOST said something along the lines of, “My psychic mother even asked for a sweater in this color for Christmas” but didn’t. Well, hopefully Santa will have a lot to choose from! xox

  5. Mary says

    I love the new pink. But I couldn’t use it to paint the walls. It’s too bright! I can’t handle bright colors on my walls. But I can use them for accesories. I think it would add some fun interest.

    Now go out & buy your mom her sweater. And some pink earrings to go with it.

  6. Mary says

    Hey Annie,
    Check out the latest post from Nicole @ (Pantone Validates My Living Room).

  7. says

    Our living room is pink and I love it, but it’s a much paler pink. As forward thinking and accepting as my Mr. is, I’m not sure he would go for this color on the walls. Pillow and details, though, definitely!

  8. says

    I don’t remember exactly what you said about it, but months later, I remember thinking, “I don’t like it because it seems muddy.” The words we come up with for lack of a vocabulary when it’s not our field!

  9. Rachelle Cheney says

    Hi Annie,

    LOVE the living spaces with lighter pink walls in the last two photos. The color feels inviting and fun but also sophisticated. What are your tips for making pink walls in a living space work? What types of finishes/complimentary colors do you suggest to keep it from getting too Miami Vice?

  10. says

    Hi, Rachelle! Go lighter pink in a living or family room; a DR can handle a darker color. Pair that light pink with contrasting colors – white, black, dark brown, super dark blue, dark red (dark green is too risky/preppy) – to keep it sophisticated. I hope this helps, and thank you for the comment!

  11. says

    I was inspired to use this hue last year in my guest bath. It was a bold choice, but my inspiration came from my love of pearls and sea shells in nature. I took a conch shell to the paint store and had them customize pearlized paints in pinks and tans to match the colors inside the shell. Using these hues, in addition to white, I fauxed the walls in a combination of the three colors to emulate the inside of the shell. The results gave a unique depth and splendid richness to the walls that provided a backdrop for adding more “jewelry” to the bath.

  12. says

    He is a precious liatelmtn that we have all waited a long time for but the wait was worth it,Can’t wait to take him hunting and fishing,Have to get him abetter hat tho.Wonderful pictures and I love your work. Pawpaw Smith


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